YouTube bans gun modding tutorials after Las Vegas shooting


Bump stocks were attached to 12 of the rifles found in the Las Vegas gunman's hotel room. According to a YouTube spokesperson, this was an expansion of an existing policy in the wake of the Vegas shooting to prohibit videos that demonstrate "how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly".

A bump stock is a legal modification for semi-automatic rifles that uses the recoil of the gun to increase its rate of fire to levels comparable to that of an automatic rifle. The videos recently disappeared from the service, and the guidelines were updated alongside this to reflect the new restriction.

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YouTube's policy on harmful or unsafe content censors "dangerous or illegal activities include instructional bomb making, choking games, hard drug use, or other acts where serious injury may result".

Prior to the change in YouTube's policies, anyone with access to the internet could have watched these videos to modify their guns in the exact same manner. Yet hours after the announcement, the site still hosted numerous videos showing how to install and use the devices. By only banning videos specific to the mass shooting, it indicates that the video-sharing service will take action toward curbing risky content - in the aftermath of a deadly event related to said content. The shooting would certainly not have been as deadly as it was without the bump stock. Some of videos still online as of Tuesday morning feature bump stocks, so it's unclear how long it will take for this policy to go fully into effect.

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The video-sharing site made the move by expanding its existing policy against violence-inciting content. The spokesperson said the company has "long had a policy against harmful and risky content".

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